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‘Shoes polisher, Rocky II, etc, Piccadilly’ by William Klein (1980
Photograph: ‘Shoes polisher, Rocky II, etc, Piccadilly’ by William Klein (1980)

In pictures: life in Soho, past and present

From strip clubs to artists, a new exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery documents Soho’s seedy glory

Written by
El Hunt
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Soho has cleaned its act up, and swanky eateries now sit snugly next to sex shops. But the area still has a chaotic undercurrent, celebrated in a new exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery.

‘Shot in Soho’ is a rare chance to see an ’80s photo essay by the influential William Klein, who documented everything from sleazy massage parlours to shoeshiners. John Goldblatt’s series, meanwhile, centres around women relaxing in a strip club’s dressing room back in 1968, while Dublin photographer Daragh Soden has also been tasked with capturing a brand new look at Soho. Just hope he didn’t catch you on film last time you drunkenly stumbled home from G-A-Y, eh?

Check out some of the exhibition highlights below…


Photograph: 'Untitled', from the series ‘The Undressing Room’ by John Goldblatt (1968)


Photograph: 'The Colony Room Club' by Clancy Gebler Davies (1999 – 2000)


Photograph: 'Men hidden their faces / 69 Sauna & Massage' by William Klein


Photograph: 'Untitled', from the series ‘The Undressing Room’ by John Goldblatt


Photograph: 'Looking for Love' by Daragh Soden (2019)


Photograph: Kelvin Brodie for The Sunday Times Magazine (1968)


Photograph 'Soho' by Anders Petersen (2011)


Photograph: 'Untitled', from the series ‘The Undressing Room’ by John Goldblatt (1968)

All photographs courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery.

‘Shot in Soho’ is at The Photographers’ Gallery until Feb 9 2020.

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